by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor


Guest blogger, Debra Coleman Jeter   @DebColemanJeter

What an intriguing question: does God have secrets? I love that my guest, Debra Jeter poses this question, because yes, I believe God does have secrets that He shares only with those who walk with Him. I believe you’ll enjoy Debra’s thought process and maybe she’ll get you thinking as well. I know she stirred my pot. It’s my prayer that Debra’s ponderings will draw you closer to the One who loves you.

Welcome Debra!

Have you
ever wondered why Jesus spoke so often in parables? It occurred to me recently
that it’s a lot like the advice writers hear about how important it is to show
rather than tell. Long before computers and copiers, or even printing presses,
people told stories to draw their audience in. Jesus was a master at this. In
most of his parables, we identify with a character, whether it’s the prodigal
son or his elder brother (Luke 15: 11-32), the bridesmaids who run out of oil
or the ones who don’t (Matthew 25: 1-13).

In my
family, we would often discuss a sermon after leaving the church building.
Sometimes your mind goes blank for a few minutes and you think, “What was that about today?” Often the thing
that brings it back is a story or a joke the preacher shared to make a point.
The stories tend to stick with us longer than the rest, and they bring home the
message behind the story.

There are
times in our lives when we cannot help questioning why God allows the
struggles, the pain, the suffering we see around us and sometimes experience
ourselves. Occasionally we hear a story from someone who found Christ only
after hitting rock bottom, and we think, “Aha! I see why God did that.”

But so
often we simply cannot see the reason behind the things that happen in this
world. If we compare our lives to a novel, the comparison falls flat. For one
thing, as human beings, we are far more complex and full of contradictions than
any of the characters in our favorite works of fiction. For another, we do not
see the whole picture; the last chapters are not written in this lifetime. The Author who created us is infinitely wiser, infinitely more compassionate, but
also infinitely more mysterious than our favorite novelist.

In Matthew
13:10-11, the disciples asked Jesus pointblank, “Why do you speak to the people
in parables?”

Jesus told
them, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been
given to you, but not to them.”

In my
life and those of my loved ones, I long for perfect clarity. I want to
understand completely; and when I cannot, my faith sometimes falters.

We read in
Matthew 13:13-14, that Jesus’ use of parables fulfilled Old Testament
prophecy:  “Though seeing, they do not
see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” I can’t claim to
understand God’s plan fully, but I take comfort in what is probably my favorite
scripture, 1st Corinthians 13:12-13:  “For
now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

“And now
these three remain:  faith, hope and
love. But the greatest of these is love.”
A Tweetable to Encourage Others
Does God have secrets? Guest @DebraColemanJeter via @NanJonesAuthor shares great insight. (Click to Tweet)

************************************************************
Meet Debra:

A Vanderbilt University professor, Debra Coleman Jeter has
published fiction and nonfiction in popular magazines, including Working
Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy
, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her story, “Recovery,” won first prize in a Christian Woman
short story competition, and her nonfiction book “Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson”:
Tales of a Young Actor
was a finalist in the 2007 USA Book News Awards. She
is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which
premiered in 2011 at the Sundance Film Festival, and captured several
international awards. She lives in
Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband.
Connect with Debra:
Website and Blog:  www.debracolemanjeter.com

Debra
Jeter’s debut novel, The Ticket, is
now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other outlets. Check out
the book trailer at:  https://vimeo.com/50187275
The Ticket

Tray
Dunaway longs to be part of the popular set at school, but she’s growing too
fast and her clothes no longer fit right. When she wears Gram’s hand-sewn
clothes to school, the kids make fun of her tall, boney appearance. Tray’s luck
improves when Pee Wee Johnson, a down-and-out friend of her father’s, buys two
lottery tickets and gives one to Mr. Dunaway as a thank-you for driving him to
Hazard, Illinois. When her father’s ticket turns out to be the winner, Johnson
demands his cut of the proceeds, but Tray’s dad refuses. What seems like a
stroke of good fortune suddenly becomes a disturbing turn of events as Johnson
threatens to cause problems for the family and Tray.
You may purchase The Ticket at Amazon